The timing of things is funny. I recently did a couple of interviews (to be posted over the next couple of weeks) with owners of hyphenated domain names. On, Thursday, Owen Frager posted an article on his blog entitled Rob Grant: “It’s interesting. I just deleted hundreds and hundreds of hyphens.” You can read the article for more details, but the combination got me thinking about the under appreciated value of hyphenated domain names.
I own only a couple of hyphenated names, one being the name of my home town. The value of a hyphenated name really lies in the end use. If you are buying a domain for investment purposes or a quick flip, then a hyphenated name probably isn’t your best option, although I imagine there have been some great sales in this area. But if you are looking to monetize a name based on SEO and search results, then hyphens are a fabulous option.
Sure, you won’t grab the type-in traffic that the non-hyphenated domain has, but is that your goal? Isn’t the actual search volume much higher than type-in results? If Google doesn’t penalize for hyphens, you have an even playing field with the non-hyphenated domain equivalent. I’m not an SEO expert, but I have heard others claim that the hyphen may even play an advantage for search purposes.
While I’m not promoting hyphenated names as the best route to take, I am saying “don’t discount them too much.” They can have value and produce significant traffic.